Thursday, December 31, 2009

poem of the day 12.31.09

something for the stomach

all morning i have been complaining
i tell my wife that i need something
for the stomach

she tells me that i need to slow down on the drinking
that i’m too old to be throwing up in the morning
and having a stomach like this

i know, i know i say to her
but i need something for the stomach right now.

so we go to the drug store
and i buy the industrial strength liquid antacid
in cherry flavor
i drink it out on the street
i take a big gulp of it as people
walk by me on the way to their own miseries

i feel like a madman doing this
but i’m more like a dumb child
who’s bad act has been played out
over and over again

i see a woman i don’t like
i don’t like the way she’s looking at me
drinking this liquid antacid on the street
i want to grab her and tell her
look, bitch, i just needed something for the stomach

but she wouldn’t understand
with her perfect hair and clothing
she’s the type who thinks her shit doesn’t stink
the sad redundant type
trapped and locked into doing the same thing
again and again

i take another hit on the liquid antacid
and tell my wife that i’m picking up red wine
for us to drink tonight

my wife just sighs
and the woman looks back at me and frowns

sometimes you just can’t tell people anything

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

poem of the day 12.30.09

if we don’t make it

laying in bed
she says
what if we don’t make it

what do you mean? i ask.

this, if this never pans out.
the writing.
all the time we’ve invested
all of the early mornings
and rejections.

i see, i say
i don’t know, i say

i just don’t want to think
that we missed out on anything, you know

like kids and stuff?

and other things.
it takes a lot to make it, she says.

i know, i say
but we’re doing all right.

do you think?

yes, i could go the rest of my life
having it happen here and there
nothing big.
what about you?

i guess i could too, she says.

besides, i say, the rest of them
have just given up.
they’ve let it die
just to settle on less and less.

do you think? she says.

i have to.
otherwise i don’t know how
i’d keep on going.

okay, she says.

we get the light
and no one says a word.

soon i hear her snoring
and then the world
just falls away.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

poem of the day 12.29.09

punching a fourteen-year old in the face

i tell him
you wait and see, man
when you turn eighteen i’m going to rent a car
no, a limo, motherfucker,
i’m going to rent a limo
and have him drive me all the way out here
because i’m sure you’re not going
to be in college
you probably won’t even be in high school
and i’m going to have that limo
drive me all the way out here
on my dollar
and i’m going to have him park the limo
right in the middle of the street
so that all your neighbors can see
then i’m going to casually walk up
your driveway
ring the doorbell
and then when you open the door
i’m going to just haul off and punch you
right in the face
how do you like that?
right in the goddamned face
with a limo waiting in the middle of your street
and all your friends and neighbors
lingering outside their doors to watch it
what do you think, huh?
oh, you think it’s funny?
you think i’ll forget?
you just wait and see, man,
because fate is a bitch
and i have one long ass memory
and little else to do in the ensuing four years
but mold and shape this plan
so you keep on laughing and smiling
and thinking i’m just a drunk old fool
but you’ll see
four years from now
a limo and everything else
parked right there on your street
and you knocked out cold
wondering what in the hell just happened
and then you’ll remember, kid
you’ll remember this moment like all hell.

Monday, December 28, 2009

poem of the day 12.28.09

taking care of me

she’s taking care of me
she tells me that we need
to stop for lunch
before we go to the bar
she says that was the problem yesterday
the reason why i woke up
with a headache
and with my stomach fucked
she says that i didn’t eat enough yesterday
just a plate of fries
and some chicken wings
and that’s why i threw up
you can’t drink all day on just
a plate of fries and chicken wings, she says
i tell her that i can’t remember
last night too well
that’s why we’re stopping for lunch
before we hit the bar, she says
she’s taking care of me, you see
neither of us want a repeat of yesterday
when i was laying in bed, green faced
laying on the bathroom floor
at her parent’s house
vomiting up a chocolate macaroon and little else
waiting to see if i could keep
a ginger ale down in between unwrapping
christmas presents
and watching old movies on television
she’s taking care of me
like no one else ever did before her
she wants to make sure that i’m all right
and it feels good to have someone
in your corner sometimes
someone like her
combing the wet and cold landscape
of her youth
trying to find a restaurant that is open for business
the day after christmas, 2009, racing
with the bars only an hour away from
putting on their lights
and getting ready to serve their first draft
of the day

Saturday, December 26, 2009

poem of the day 12.26.09

so that i know there’s life

the woman in the apartment
above my bedroom
playing louis prima
and sinatra at full blast
the man next door to her
pacing back and forth
dropping bowling balls
or some other heavy shit

they’re doing it

the old chinese hag
next door
with her television dramas
and grandchildren pounding
on the walls

they’re doing it too

the couple down the hall
making the worst smelling food
the aging frat boys
on the fourth floor who smoke cigarettes
and recite lines from shitty movies
in front of my window
and the superintendent passed out
on a bench with a
wine hangover

all of them
they’re doing it

the dog walkers letting
their mongrels shit
in the foyer
the delivery men playing
their bad music
and honking their horns
and the teenagers throwing up
beer and pizza outside in the snow

they’re helping this along

the exterminator
and the mailman
the cable bill and the electric bill
the student loans
and the landlord
because he’s a part of this too

all of them
every last one
they keep on doing
what they’re doing
so that i know there’s life
outside my closed blinds

ugly gray life
dismal like a traffic jam
or intense diarrhea
and it just won’t stop
no matter how dark i keep the apartment
or my soul
no matter how goddamned long
i hide

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

poem of the day 12.23.09


sitting here

barely breathing

the scotch bottle emptied
and in the sink

the beer cans a wreck
on the coffee table

books all over the place again

the year falling desperately away

the same old story
i’m the same old act

yeah, i got friends
stretching the globe
from pittsburgh
to madrid

but not a goddamned
one of them
can stop a night
like this
from happening

over and over

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

poem of the day 12.22.09

where i’m sitting tonight

he says
but that was long ago
back when the people
in this bar
could talk about
books and music
and politics
and such
but now,
he says, looking around
the joint

there are two guys wrestling
by the poker machine
the bartender is doing shots
with his coke dealer
and another old drunk
is manhandling
a chinese woman
selling bootleg movies
telling her that black people
don’t have it
so bad

but now,
there’s no one in here
but fat drunks
and racists
and not one of them
could tell a synonym
from a hole in their

Monday, December 21, 2009

poem of the day 12.21.09

all of us assholes on the plane

i don’t like the blonde sitting
across from me on the plane.

something about her keeps rubbing
me the wrong way.

she keeps lowering her eyes at me
glaring at me
every time i speak to my wife.

the plane has been delayed an hour.
we’ve been stuck on the runway
another half-hour.

the blonde doesn’t like it
that she’s stuck on the runway
doesn’t like it that she’s sitting
across from me
because i’m being drunk and loud
and talking to my wife
and watching a football game on
the little television.

then my phone rings and i pick it up.

“are you still on the plane?” my mother asks.


“how is it?”

“it wouldn’t be so bad,” i say,
“if there weren’t so many assholes on the plane.”

i get off the phone and look over at the blonde.
she’s not looking at me this time, but at her man.

she’s whispering something to him
and he’s staring at me.

but, honestly,
what can he do about me?
what can any of us do about anything
on a night like this?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

poem of the day 12.19.09

watch it, you’re spilling

these oppressive types surround
my wife and i in an empty airport bar
they take seats right next to us
some blonde in whore make-up
her botox-heavy mother, her put-out father,
and a fat, aging frat boy who must be her husband
because he’s pushing along a pink baby carriage
and she keeps looking back to berate him

“lanny, what time is it?” she says.
and when lanny doesn’t know.
“oh, you’re no good for anything.”

she laughs and looks at the bartender
“yeah, i’m the one bringing a baby into a bar.”
and then she orders something fruity with “a lot of rum.”
as my wife and i sit there wondering how people
like her make it beyond the age of five
without swallowing a handful of marbles.

“lanny, fix your hair,” she tells her husband,
as he plays with his cell phone.
lanny has his hair overly gelled
and it has flecks of gray in it
probably from living with that bitch.
i tell my wife that i hope lanny has a piece of ass
on the side.

“he can never keep himself together,” she says
to her mother.
her mother is an older version of the blonde.
she can’t blink from the botox
can’t smile because of the collagen pumped into her lips
and both of the women have so much mascara on
it looks as though they’ve been popped
in the eyes a few times by their men.

“lanny, order a drink already,” she says.
lanny orders a scotch on the rocks.
“forget it, he’ll have a budweiser,” she tells the bartender.
before she leans over and coos to her ugly child
as i nurse my own scotch and try to look at her tits.

“lanny, i’m ordering you a sandwich to go with that beer,”
she says, even though lanny says that he’s not hungry.
“too bad.”
she looks at her mother and laughs.
mom nods her approval
as i look at the old man who’s been quietly sitting there
the whole time.
he’s nursing a bottle of amstel light,
watching the vikings beat the shit out of the bengals.

he looks like he’s been through hell with these two.
he has nothing to say to lanny as well.

“lanny, take your beer for christ’s sake,” she says,
then she tells her mother how fucked up she and lanny got
last night at the club.
“of course it wasn’t the good me, mom. sometimes the bad
me has to come out and play.”
mom nods her approval again.

then the baby starts crying and it wakes up
the old man from his lonely stupor
he downs his beer before leaning down to smile in the
child’s face.
lanny leans down too.

“watch it, you’re spilling,” she says
just as a stream of beer falls out of his pint glass
missing the baby carriage by inches
but getting the old man
on the sleeve of his new brown jacket.

“i told you, i told you,” she says to her mother,
lifting the fruity drink that has just arrived,
and looking at all of us,
“i just can’t take him anywhere.”

Friday, December 18, 2009

poem of the day 12.18.09

so i've been morose and hateful for over a week now. apparently if i'm not up
at 5 a.m. trying to be a half-genius, i'm no good to anyone. class...undismissed. i'm back.

my new hero

he said
i tried reading
but he sucked

i tried him too
he had one good

but the other one
i read

i read him in high school
oh, had to be forty years ago
thought the book sucked

fitzgerald? i asked

gatsby? sucked.


he sucked too.

hey, melville,
he said,
picking a book up off
the shelf.
moby dick.
i was meaning to read this.
i saw the movie version
not too long ago.

what did you think?

i thought it sucked.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winedrunk End Notes 2009

So i've decided to take my year end sabatical a little bit early this year.
but do not fear, Winedrunk will be back on January 1, 2010.

stuff of note: if you live in/around the pittsburgh area. I will be reading poems
on Friday, December 11th @ modern formations gallery 4919 Penn Avenue @ 8pm with a host of other people. should be fun. last time i read there, someone walked out.

oh well, to most of you...have a great holiday and such.
and to the know what you can do with it, motherfuckers.

poem of the day 12.10.09

we’ve all got problems

she gets on the bus
with her kid
she’s wearing a hostess outfit
and a gray hat
the kind that fidel castro likes

she’s talking to her daughter
about some bully in school
who punched the child
in the face.

the kid might be five.

this has happened three times
this week
and no one told her about
the assaults
until today, she says

and, look, you have a black eye too, she says,
holding her child’s face and examining it
until she realizes she’s missed their stop
and the bus has to pull over
three blocks beyond where they needed.

we’ve all got problems, i think,
watching the woman and her battered child
haul ass off the bus

she’s got a bully to deal with
and probably a shit job
in a bad restaurant
and a child to care for on one salary

others have death and debt
and everything else to deal with.


right now my knees are jammed on this bus
and i can’t get my fat ass
on just one of these plastic bus seats.
the bus driver has pulled over on a green light
to have a smoke break
because he’s union and he can.

not too bad and not too good either

but i’m probably going
to have to start
laying off the beer
sooner rather than later
try and get some of this weight down
before the new year arrives.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

poem of the day 12.09.09

i thought i saw her

i thought i saw her
that ruinous blonde whore
that tight assed wench
who never wore underwear
that little strumpet

i thought i saw her
walking down broadway
with a group of friends
looking in the holiday store windows

she was wearing
a white coat
and except for a few wrinkles
around the eyes
she looked the same as back then

i thought i saw her
that fucking bitch
that demon of so many nights
the one who gave her cunt
so quickly
and took it away

and it was like 1997 all over again
and i felt the shame
of not being able to get it up
of sneaking around with her
behind my friend’s back

i thought i saw her
that tiny liar
who told me that she was twenty
when she was barely eighteen
who might’ve been fucking someone else
behind my back

i thought i saw her
i wondered how she and i
could be on the same street
twelve years later
hundreds of miles ago

it didn’t seem possible
she never really existed anyway
just a figment of my imagination
like all of the rest of them

but i thought i saw her
right by the comic book store
right by the billiards joint
and the bar i never go into
because the drinks cost too much

i thought i saw her
that slut
that napoleon of the heart
that bin laden of the soul
that small titted vlad the impaler
i thought i saw her
on broadway

but, shit,
broadway is so busy this time
of year
it very well could’ve been
someone that just
looked like her.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

poem of the day 12.08.09

great ones taken

great ones fall away
while the rest of us wait to cross
the street

great ones pass away
on cold nights
while footballs games get played

great ones are taken
as we pull on over-priced drinks
or sings songs
in a tepid shower

they are taken
as young boys sit in old kitchens
with eggs frying
and the morning radio
set to talk

great ones are stripped from
the earth
as the mediocre clamor for space
as disease rages
the dull copulate on soiled sheets
and the bills aren’t any closer
to getting paid

greats ones get taken like us
but not like us
they are taken by age and famine
by the cruel wind

they are taken by gunshot
under warm amber lights
with the city blazing bold
and a beautiful park
only a stone’s throw away.

they are taken
and the world often never recovers
from it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

poem of the day 12.07.09

starting a new position today so forgive if i'm posting old ones
will try and get my shit together by tomorrow


trying to dig up the earth in the rotten sun,
planting hedges for my mother,
the neighbor lady sees me struggling,
and comes over to help.
maybe she is around forty.
she has coal black hair with flecks of gray,
and a great wide ass, juicy enough to suck on.
i am thirteen then.
fat and sullen,
and i haven’t made yard work a general practice.

the two of us get on the hard ground,
she on one side, and me on the other,
and together we begin digging at the earth,
with vigor, both of us sweating, moving our bodies
up and down, trying to get out all the
brown grass and rock
to find that good, moist black dirt.
planting dirt.

the neighbor has a white tank top on,
so i begin to watch down the neckline
at the two sagging tits swaying back and forth
thinking, christ, this is the first time i’ve seen
something like this up close,
i should really get outside and plant things more often.
so we go faster and take shovels then hands
to dig at the ground.
and her tits keep swaying,
but not enough so that i can see the nipples at first,
but then the nipples finally come when the digging stops
and she reaches to grab the hedge we’re going to plant.

i’d forgotten the hedge in all this bliss.
i’d forgotten the hedge to the tune of two pink, huge nipples,
the two most beautiful things i’d ever seen,
both erect,
and almost as erect as my cock is at that moment.
and together we lift the hedge and get it in the ground,
covering it over with some of the excess dirt we’d
when we are finished, my neighbor looks up at me
and she smiles.
she wipes the dirt on her jeans and rises from the earth
to leave me.

when she is completely gone,
i get up, leaving pulled grass and rock,
the shovels, and the rest of the excess dirt,
and i go back inside my house.
when i get in there
it is as if years had gone by since the last time
i had seen the place.
it is a new era.
so much has changed.
and i stand there for a lifetime, and i just
don’t do anything.
i wonder what the next beautiful thing i’ll ever see
is going to be.
then i remember the dirt on my hands.
and i go up into the bathroom
to wash them.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

poem of the day 12.06.09

the holiday season always makes me think about the number of shitty jobs
that i've's an old poem.

german accent

we were fucking around
and laughing on the docks,
trying to kill the pain
and dread
of all the physical labor
of the day.
we’d been loading toy trucks
for hours,
and now the goddamned marines
were there
with a 15-footer full of cheap junk
and ripped bags
that would set as back a day.
somehow between the pot
of coffee
and the endless packs of pallets,
he and i had developed
german accents
which we thought were hysterical.
and when he dropped
a bag full of dollar store trinkets,
sending rubber balls and broken dolls
all over the dust-covered floor,
it seemed only natural to scream
in my best kraut
“damn you! now you’ve ruined
to which the marines stopped
hauling their share,
and laid their eyes on me,
so fucking dumb,
they weren’t sure whether or not
to chuckle or to open fire.


Friday, December 4, 2009

poem of the day 12.04.09

things are getting interesting

an ad for booze plastered all over
the subway says

things are getting interesting

if i didn’t know it before
i know it now

advertisers are goddamned liars

things are never interesting
they are pleasurable or disagreeable
for a moment
and then they endure

but these booze people say
that things are getting interesting

if you say so

and to prove it they have two women
on the ad
one black
and one white

the black woman is biting down
on a chain that is wrapped around
the white woman’s neck
and the white woman has her head
thrown back in ecstasy

my guess is these hooch merchants
want us to think the two women
are going to fuck

and what’s so interesting about that?

you can see plenty of people fuck
online or in the movies
or if your old fashioned
in the magazines

you can see black women
and white women fuck each other
or black or white men
you can see them fuck latino men
while latino women play with their cunt
or you can watch asain chicks
spread their ass cheeks
for all takers

there is nothing interesting about
watching human beings fuck
or do anything else for that matter.

humans have to be the most boring
uninteresting creatures ever spat out
by evolution on this planet.

so next time you want to sell me some booze
oh great and mighty advertisers of the world
just show the goddamned bottle
on the ad
if you want to get my motor running

skip the slogan and the innuendo
because that kind of bullshit
always tends to take care of itself.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

poem of the day 12.03.09


more and more they seem to be
in the subway station these days

these conduits of god

you know, the crazy people
the garbage-scented lunatics
with their shit-stained placards
and their shopping carts full of plastic bags

the ones crying out to save all of our souls

as we go from job to job
as we go shopping
as we head to the bars, the offices,
and to the grave

the ones standing against soiled walls
shouting out both the doomsday
and the good word.

i wonder what the meaning is
behind all of this recent action.

the holidays?
the economy?

probably nothing.

it is in the human condition
to look for patterns where none exist.

still, it is odd to see so many of them
praising the lord
scolding humanity
threatening the fire and the brimstone.

it actually seems like a good gig
like better than staggering through fifty-two weeks
eight hours a day
and twenty-six paychecks a year.
and that’s if your lucky.

i think these stupid angels might
have something here.

i wonder how they got into their holy racket
why they got the call and i didn’t.

i mean i can’t claim sanity on this one
i do plenty of stupid things
only most of the time they are within the bounds
of typical human decency

how boring.

not like these people.
not like these madmen and madwomen
moaning out into the void
two steps away from the madhouses
and taking pleasure in their servitude

when we all know the real insanity
is right there in front of our faces
it’s in the drab offices
it’s in the friday afternoon meeting room
it’s on the rush hour train
it’s sitting on plates full of lackluster meals
it’s the silence that hangs between bad conversation
it’s the radiation coming out from the television
and it’s swirling in the glass that isn’t
strong enough anymore

it’s that lump of empty flesh staring back at you
when you look in the mirror
too early in the goddamned morning
on a weekday
when all hope has been forsaken
and something just has to get done

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

poem of the day 12.02.09


we are in bed.

my parents are visiting from

my father has had the weather channel
on for three straight hours.

i really liked that poem you posted
my wife says.

thank you.

i just hope that my sister doesn’t
read your blog.


well, because you criticized my family
for the black friday dinner.

it was a joke.

you didn’t criticize your parents
for staying with us for three days.

i have plenty of poems
about my parents.

which ones?

it was all in good fun anyway, i say

some people won’t see it that way.
maybe your fans will.

i don’t have fans.

then we were quiet.
through the bedroom door
i hear that it is going to be fifty degrees
in new york tomorrow.

i hate the sound of televisions
through thin apartment walls.

it’s going to be forty-seven
on friday, i say.
i read it in the paper.

good, my wife says.
why don’t you write a poem
about that too.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

poem of the day 12.01.09

miss you too

a beer at nine in the morning
isn’t as good as that white wine
tasted at eight forty-five.

my parents are somewhere
in jersey now
fiddling with their gps system
and looking for a crackle barrel
for breakfast.

dvorak is playing his american
and i’m trying to keep down
tears and budweiser
on an empty stomach.

i wonder what in the hell
has happened
to me.

the apartment feels too empty.

i’ve gone soft

sentimental at the close
of the decade.

my parents are racing through jersey
en route to pittsburgh
and my wife is at work.

it feels like she and i haven’t
talked for days.

i miss everyone.

dvorak is still on
antonin isn’t enough sometimes.

i’ll bet his wife felt that way too.